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Thursday 27th June 2019

Dentists 'misleading' patients

29th May 2012

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) says around half a million patients are given the wrong information about treatment by their dentists.


The OFT said some dentists gave their patients incorrect data about NHS treatment in order to convince them to spend money on private treatments.

They found that over a third of patients (39%) had not viewed posters or leaflets which informed them about NHS charges.

Over half (56%) of dentists who offered private treatment did not display their treatment charges at the reception desk and more than eight in 10 patients (82%) had not been given a written treatment plan.

However, the OFT's study of health service and private dentistry in the UK showed the majority of people were happy with the service their dentist offered.

Chief executive of the OFT John Fingleton said the study had brought up "significant concerns" about dentists in the UK which needed to be addressed as soon as possible. 

He said: "All too often patients lack access to the information they need, for example when choosing a dentist or when getting dental treatment."

"We also unearthed evidence that some patients may be receiving deliberately inaccurate information about their entitlement to NHS dental treatment, and we expect to see robust action taken against such potential misconduct by dentists."

The study showed almost £6 billion was spent on dental treatment in 2009/10, with 42% paid out for private treatment and 58% on NHS treatment. 


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